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Publication numberUS4262048 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 06/086,734
Publication dateApr 14, 1981
Filing dateOct 22, 1979
Priority dateOct 22, 1979
Publication number06086734, 086734, US 4262048 A, US 4262048A, US-A-4262048, US4262048 A, US4262048A
InventorsDavis M. Mitchell
Original AssigneeMitchell Davis M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Heel protector
US 4262048 A
Abstract
A protector member for placement on a vehicle floorboard protects the driver's heel from scuffing. The protector member has a pad with an upper convoluted surface. Relatively large peaks are surrounded by valleys. The peaks serve to remove debris, which is collected in the valleys. A barrier, located at the bottom of each valley, serves to prevent the heel from further contact with the debris. Preferably the barrier is a thin strip of film gathered in folds.
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Claims(2)
I claim:
1. A protector member for protecting a shoe heel of a vehicle driver from scuffing, comprising in combination:
a pad adapted to be located on the floorboard of a vehicle adjacent an accelerator pedal, the pad having an upper surface of cushioning material containing a plurality of depressions; and
a piece of flexible film secured in at least some of the depressions and gathered so as to protrude upwardly in folds, the film allowing debris to fall into its folds for avoiding abrading contact of the debris with the heel;
each depression being a valley defined by four surrounding peaks, equally spaced in a diamond pattern, each peak and valley having an arcuate portion when viewed in vertical cross-section, the radius of the arcuate portion of each peak being substantially the same as the radius of the arcuate portion of each valley.
2. A protector member for protecting a shoe heel of a vehicle driver from scuffing, comprising in combination:
a pad having an upper surface of cushioning material with a plurality of peaks protruding from valleys that surround each peak on four sides in an equally spaced diamond pattern, the valleys being of the same configuration as the peaks but inverted, the peaks having an uppermost arcuate portion and gradual slopes;
means for securing the pad to a floorboard of a vehicle adjacent an accelerator pedal; and
a piece of flexible film secured in at least some of the valleys and gathered so as to protrude upwardly in folds, the film allowing removed debris to fall into its folds, to avoid abrading contact of the removed debris with the heel.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates in general to automobile accessories and in particular to a device for protecting a driver's shoe heel from scuffing.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Drivers of automobiles often experience scuffing and soiling on the side of the shoe at the heel. This scuffing results from dirt and debris being carried onto the floorboard of the vehicle. A typical accelerator pedal is inclined about 45-75 degrees with respect to the horizontal when in the idle position. When the pedal is depressed, this angle increases. Consequently, the driver places his foot on the pedal in an almost vertical position, resulting in the upper heel area being in contact with the floorboard.

In rear-wheeled drive vehicles, there is a large protuberance in the floorboard center to accomodate the drive train. The driver tends to lean his foot against the protuberance. This further causes the right side of the heel of the shoe to come in contact with the floorboard. The debris abrades, scuffs and soils the side of the heel. For men's shoes, a soiled spot will be in the upper section of the heel portion of the shoe, above the sole. For women's shoes with higher heels, the decorative leather on the side of the heel may become soiled. Such soiling occurs whether or not the floorboard is carpeted or whether it has a smooth plastic mat over the top for protection of the carpeting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly a general object of this invention to provide an improved means for protecting a driver's shoe heel.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved means for protecting a driver's shoe heel with a device that removes debris from the side of the driver's heel to avoid abrasion and soiling.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved means for protecting a driver's shoe heel with a device that removes debris from the side of a driver's heel to avoid abrasion and soiling, and places the removed debris in a place where it cannot contact and abrade the heel.

In accordance with these objects, a protector member is provided that includes a pad for placement on the floorboard below and to the rear of the accelerator pedal. The pad has a cushioning layer with a convoluted upper surface. The upper surface includes a plurality of relatively large peaks surrounded by valleys. The peaks remove debris from the shoe, allowing it to fall into the valleys. A strip of film in each valley is gathered to receive debris in its folds. This serves to prevent the debris from further contact with the heel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of the interior of an automobile with a heel protector constructed in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the heel protector of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the heel protector of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, vehicle 11 has a floorboard 13. An accelerator pedal 15 is mounted at the forward end of the floorboard. As shown also in FIG. 3, the pedal 15 is inclined with respect to the horizontal at an angle typically between 45-75 degrees.

A protector member 17 is located on the floorboard adjacent pedal 15. Protector member 17 is a pad that may be of generally rectangular configuration, but preferably is in a general "L" shape. A portion extends up under the accelerator pedal 15, while another portion extends laterally a short distance.

Protector member 17 has a layer 19 of cushion material, preferably of a cellular foam material, such as polyether. Layer 19 has an upper surface that is convoluted. As shown in FIG. 3, the upper surface is made up of a plurality of relatively large protuberance or peaks 21 surrounded by valleys 23. When viewed in vertical cross-section, as shown in FIG. 3, each peak 21 has a rounded or arcuate portion at its top that is identical to a rounded or arcuate portion in each valley 23. As shown in FIG. 2 the peaks 21 and valleys 23 are equally spaced in a diamond pattern. A single peak 21 is surrounded by four valleys 23, and vice-versa. The peaks 21 have gradual slopes and are joined together by ridges 25. The lowest point of each ridge 25 is about one-half the distance between the base of each valley 23 and the top of each peak 21, measured vertically. The symmetry of the valleys 23 and peaks 21 will allow two layers 19 to nest together if they are brought into contact facing each other.

As shown in FIG. 3, the valleys 23 must be relatively deep to receive a portion of the shoe heel 27. Also, the horizontal distance between peaks 21 must be sufficient to accomodate a portion of shoe heel 27. In the case of men's shoes, the semi-circular rear portion of a heel may be as large as four inches in diameter. In order to accomodate men's and women's shoes, preferably the peaks 21 are one and one-half inches apart, measured horizontally from centerline to centerline. The bottom or base of each valley 23 is one inch below the top of each peak 21, measured vertically. That is, the horizontal plane in which the tops of the peaks 21 lie is one inch above the horizontal plane in which the bases of the valleys 23 lie. Consequently, the vertical distance from the base of each valley 23 to the top of each peak 21 is more than half the horizontal distance between the centerlines of adjacent peaks. The ridges 25 are midway between the base of each valley 23 and the top of each peak 21.

A strip of thin, flexible, plastic film 29 is secured at the base of each valley 23. Film 29 is about 0.002 inch in thickness and is impervious to water. Film 29 is gathered into folds and secured at a single point to the base of each valley 23 by glue, stitching, or other suitable connection. When secured, the folds protrude upwardly to a distance of about 3/8 inch, 1/8 inch below the lowest point of each ridge 25.

Protector member 17 has a base layer 31, as shown in FIG. 3, that is of flexible fluid impervious material such as vinyl. Base layer 31 is co-extensive with the outer dimensions of the protector member 17. Preferably, the protector member 17 has means for securing it to the floorboard of a vehicle so as to prevent it from slipping. The connection means should allow the protector member 17 to be withdrawn from time to time to remove debris collected therein. As shown in FIG. 3, the connection means may be Velcro strips 33 that mate with each other to secure the protector member 17 to the floorboard. The Velcro strips may have adhesive backing, or may be sewn to the base layer 31. Similar Velcro strips 33 may be secured by adhesive, snaps, or the like to the floorboard 13. The upper surface of floorboard 13 may consist of carpet 35 as shown in FIG. 3 or a vinyl type material. Also, a vinyl floor mat may cover carpet 35 for protection. If so, the protector member 17 will be secured to the floor mat. Also, the securing means could consist of a nonskid lower surface formed on the bottom of base layer 31.

In operation, protector member 17 is secured below the accelerator pedal 15, as shown in FIG. 1. When the driver's shoe is resting on the accelerator pedal, the heel 27 will be located in one or more of the valleys 23, compressing the cushioning layer 19 to a certain extent. The slopes or sides of the peaks 21 will bear against the side of the sole heel 27. In the case of men's shoes, with relatively thin sole heels, the slopes of the peaks 21 will also bear against the sides of the upper portion of the shoe, above the sole heel. As the driver normally moves his foot, the slopes of the peaks 21 remove by abrading action any debris collected on the heel 27. This debris, and any other debris brought into the vehicle proceeds into the folds of films 29 and to the bottoms of the valleys 23. The films 29 will be folded over the bases of the valleys 23 to some extent by the pressure of the heel 27, and the folds will receive the debris. The films 29 serve as barrier means to collect the debris and to prevent the heel 27 from further contacting the removed debris, avoiding soiling.

It should be apparent that an invention having significant advantages has been provided. The protector member both removes debris from the driver's shoe heel, and positions the debris below the film strips, to avoid further abrasion and soiling. The protector member is easily installable in existing vehicles, or can be attached at the factory to carpets or to conventional floorboard mats. The protector member is simple in construction and inexpensive. It can be removed for cleaning, thus should have a relatively long life.

While the invention has been shown in only one of its forms, it should be apparent that it is not so limited but is susceptible of various changes and modifications thereof.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1948327 *Dec 19, 1930Feb 20, 1934Wingfoot CorpMat
US2667654 *Feb 24, 1951Feb 2, 1954Wear Proof Mat CompanyMat
FR1487003A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4388484 *Oct 2, 1981Jun 14, 1983York Gerald OOil resistant protective elastomeric device
US4671981 *Sep 4, 1984Jun 9, 1987Mclaughlin John JRemovable fastener
US4716065 *Nov 10, 1986Dec 29, 1987Mclaughlin John JUnderlying pad for attaching removable automobile carpet
US4748063 *Sep 21, 1987May 31, 1988The Akro CorporationPreventing shifting by projections on backside
US4749602 *Apr 17, 1987Jun 7, 1988Russell Elaine TLambswool heel saver mat
US4804567 *May 26, 1988Feb 14, 1989Akro CorporationAutomotive floor covering having pad attachment means
US4810024 *Sep 14, 1987Mar 7, 1989Renee HellerShoe guard mat
US4871602 *Jun 29, 1988Oct 3, 1989Ken LukerFloor mat with band of higher density tufting
US4991900 *Oct 10, 1989Feb 12, 1991White A LeonFor use with an automotive vehicle
US5149572 *Feb 8, 1991Sep 22, 1992The Lawrence Paper CompanyDisposable, rollup temporary floor mat
US5312151 *Mar 5, 1993May 17, 1994John KrahnBoot protector
US6010414 *Mar 13, 1998Jan 4, 2000Murray Charles SnowRandom bounce reaction training device
US6296919Aug 13, 1999Oct 2, 2001Milliken & CompanyCushioned carpeted floor mat with at least one cushioning integrated rubber protrusion
US6340514Aug 13, 1999Jan 22, 2002Milliken & CompanyResilient, will not easily degrade in its modulus strength after appreciable use and/or washing within industrial cleaning processes, and will not exhibit appreciable cracking or breaking
US6420015Sep 27, 2000Jul 16, 2002Milliken & CompanyCushioned rubber floor mat and process
US6478995Oct 26, 2000Nov 12, 2002Milliken & CompanyCushioned carpeted floor covering article comprising at least one integrated rubber protrusion
US6589631Oct 4, 2000Jul 8, 2003Milliken & CompanyFlashless rubber floor mat and method
US6921502Sep 27, 2000Jul 26, 2005Milliken & CompanyCushioned rubber floor mat article and method
US7017978 *Mar 28, 2003Mar 28, 2006Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaShock absorption pad for a vehicle
US7329451Sep 1, 2004Feb 12, 2008International Automotive Components Group North America, Inc.Vehicle floor mats having integral hook retention
US7449228Jul 25, 2005Nov 11, 2008Shirley MasonFloor mat
US8025964Dec 7, 2004Sep 27, 2011Tempur World, LlcLaminated visco-elastic support
US8034445May 29, 2009Oct 11, 2011Tempur-Pedic Management, Inc.Laminated visco-elastic support
US20120228252 *Mar 11, 2011Sep 13, 2012Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Stabilizing panel
USRE38422Feb 4, 2002Feb 10, 2004Milliken & Co.Cushioned carpeted floor mat with at least one cushioning integrated rubber protrusion
EP1382482A1 *Jul 18, 2002Jan 21, 2004HV Developpement, SARLFloor mat for motor vehicles
EP1382484A1 *Jul 17, 2003Jan 21, 2004HV Developpement, SARLFloor mat for motor vehicles
WO1984004898A1 *Jun 1, 1984Dec 20, 1984Mclaughlin John JRemovable automobile floor carpet
WO2004009401A1 *Jul 17, 2003Jan 29, 2004Hv Dev SarlFloor mat for motor vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification428/99, 15/238, 428/100, 428/179, 428/319.7, 296/97.23, 428/156
International ClassificationB60N3/04
Cooperative ClassificationB60N3/044
European ClassificationB60N3/04C